Rideshare Accident Lawyers - El Paso
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While rideshare apps provide a convenient and easy way to get around, especially in large cities, rideshare drivers may still get into car accidents. If you have been involved in a car accident while using a rideshare service, it is crucial that you understand your legal rights. Keep in mind that because most rideshare drivers are not classified as employees, filing a personal injury claim for your injuries may be more difficult to navigate than your average car collision.
HOW RIDESHARE ACCIDENTS DIFFER FROM NORMAL MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
There are a few major differences between Uber or Lyft accidents and normal car accidents:
Rideshare Drivers as Independent Contractors
Some rideshare companies, like Uber and Lyft, have claimed that their drivers are independent contractors, rather than employees. By classifying their drivers as independent contractors, rideshare companies have been able to shift liability to their drivers. Lately, however, lawsuits have been filed against rideshare companies claiming that the companies should classify their drivers as employees. In fact, a superior court judge in California has recently ruled that Uber and Lyft must classify their workers as employees.
Keep in mind that rideshare drivers are not required to have any previous experience or training in transporting clients, unlike taxi drivers. Usually, the drivers only need to have their own vehicle, their own insurance, a driver’s license, etc. Getting into a car with an inexperienced driver may increase a passenger’s risk of getting into a motor vehicle collision.
LIABILITY IN RIDESHARE ACCIDENTS
Both Uber and Lyft continue to classify their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Therefore, rideshare companies are not always responsible for their drivers’ actions.
If you are seeking compensation for your injuries, it’s often easier to sue the driver, instead of the rideshare company. Determining liability in a rideshare accident is the same as determining fault in a motor vehicle collision. The degree of fault associated with each party varies depending on the type of collision:
Left-turn accidents are usually the fault of the driver taking the left turn. Cars driving straight into an intersection usually have the right of way in most cases. However, if the car going straight through the intersection is speeding or runs a red light, this may shift some or all of the liability away from the car turning left.
Running Red Lights
Drivers that run red lights or stop signs run the risk of causing side-impact collisions at high speeds. It is negligence as a matter of law, or negligence per se, if a driver is found guilty of having run a red light, meaning that a victim need not prove the elements of negligence to be successful in their claim.
WHAT TO DO AFTER YOU’VE BEEN IN A RIDESHARE ACCIDENT
1. Seek Medical Attention
You should seek medical attention immediately after a wreck, either at your local emergency room or by seeing your physician. While injuries may not feel serious initially, they often have the potential to develop into something much worse when left untreated. Don’t take any chances with your health and well-being.
2. Report the Accident
Depending on the type of collision, there are multiple entities that should be notified. You should call emergency services as well as law enforcement. Once the police arrive, you may need to file a police report to file a claim with your insurance, even if it is solely to make a claim for vehicle damage.
3. Document the Scene
If you happen to have a camera or smartphone nearby, you should take pictures of the area in which the accident occurred. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well. Be sure to also maintain and organize any medical records detailing your injuries.
You should also obtain the name, address, phone number, and insurance information of everybody involved. If there are witnesses, you should write down their contact information as well, so that you or your attorney may contact them in the future.
4. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you feel you may need help navigating your injury claim, you should consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. Personal injury attorneys are experienced in handling these claims and may help defend your rights and help you seek the compensation you may be entitled to. In the event that you have to dispute your claim in court, a personal injury attorney may be a valuable asset.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
COMMON INJURIES FROM RIDESHARE ACCIDENTS
Injuries from an accident may be short-term and treatable or may be severe enough to affect a person’s ability to perform the activities of daily life. Personal injury cases may involve the following injuries:
- Bone fractures
- Neck, back, and spine injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Soft tissue damage
- Loss of limb
COMMON CAUSES OF RIDESHARE ACCIDENTS
Some of the most common causes of car wrecks in the United States include:
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. A distracted driver is a motorist who diverts their attention from the road, usually to text or talk on a cell phone, or to eat food. Independent contractors are typically not regulated as heavily as employees, so rideshare drivers may choose to drive their car in an unsafe and unprofessional manner.
Many drivers are often caught driving up to 30 miles above the speed limit. Driving over the speed limit may lead to catastrophic collisions with other vehicles.
Driving under the influence may not only result in a fine or license revocation, but it may also cause traumatic injuries. Keep in mind that if a rideshare driver is convicted of drunk driving, the conviction constitutes negligence per se, meaning that a victim need not prove all four elements of negligence. Rather, the victim need only prove that the drunk rideshare driver caused their harm.
Running Red Lights
Drivers that run red lights or stop signs run the risk of causing side-impact collisions at high speeds. It is negligence per se if a rideshare driver is found guilty of having run a red light.
SETTLEMENT AMOUNTS IN RIDESHARE ACCIDENTS
Like all personal injury settlements, your settlement amount for your injuries resulting from a rideshare accident may depend on the circumstances of your case. In determining what settlement to expect, the following factors should be considered:
As a passenger, you are probably not at fault for causing the rideshare accident. If your rideshare driver was driving carelessly, then their insurance company may accept responsibility, which would increase the value of your settlement amount. However, if the accident was caused by another driver who crashed into the rideshare vehicle, you may have more difficulty proving that the rideshare company was partially to blame.
Severity of Injuries
It is not enough to only tell the insurance company and/or rideshare company about your injuries. You have to follow up with medical treatment immediately after the accident and learn the full extent of and severity of your injuries. Because serious injuries are costly and often cause other losses, such as lost wages, rideshare accidents that cause devastating injuries generally result in a higher settlement amount. Keep in mind that injuries may not seem serious at first, but may become worse over time, which is why it’s always important to seek medical treatment immediately after an accident.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A CLAIM?
The statute of limitations provides a deadline by which an accident victim must file a lawsuit. Once this deadline passes, the victim is barred from bringing their legal claim in court and from being able to seek compensation for their injuries.
You meet the statute of limitations by filing your lawsuit by the deadline. Negotiating with the insurance company is not enough to beat or extend the time limit. Filing your summons and complaint in the right Texas court of law is how you’ll meet the statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations for auto accident claims is two years.
GET HELP FROM EXPERIENCED EL PASO RIDESHARE ACCIDENT LAWYERS
At Zinda Law Group, our El Paso attorneys have the experience and knowledge that have helped injured victims seek compensation after suffering an injury from a rideshare accident.
Our firm also believes that an injured victim should never have to worry about their ability to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.